I’m staring down the barrel of four very long days in the Javits Center this weekend, and while I’ve done cons before, they’ve only been day trips—one day, and I’m done. If I’m going to survive this weekend, I need to bring my A game and use all the tips and tricks of seasoned con-goers. I turned to two groups of friends: my NYC Geek Girls, and my Atlanta Dragon Con attendees, and asked them what items they found indispensable.
As I compared the lists they sent back, it apparent that Dragon Con and NYCC are somewhat different beasts. The Atlantans told me to bring baby wipes and extra deodorant, which I was told I would “want to hand out to the unwashed masses.” I puzzled over this for a minute, and then it hit me. Duh, Dragon Con takes place in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend each year. It’s still hotter than hell in Atlanta then. While the Javits Center isn’t exactly chilly with people filling up every square inch, it’s not abysmally hot, either. Right, then, moving on.
There was some overlap with the other items each group suggested, so I think these are our essentials. Load up on this stuff, peeps, and take note of the cautions I’ve listed beside each. Also, everyone I asked was a woman and are also knitters, so your mileage may vary on some of these items.
- A good bag (the Atlantans favor backpacks, I personally will be sporting a Think Geek Con Bag of Holding since a backpack in the ultra-crowded Javits Center is a recipe for disaster)
- Refillable water bottle (used to hydrate slowly over the course of the day—don’t chug it or you’ll be in the bathroom constantly.)
- Snacks (Clif Bars, packs of nuts, fruit snacks, granola)
- Phone chargers (ideally you want a portable charger because everyone else has the same idea and the amount of outlets are limited)
- Cash (obviously)
- Ibuprofen (your feet, legs, and back will thank you for this)
- Band-Aids (the blister kind…again, your feet will thank you)
- Hand sanitizer (a good way to skip the bathroom lines)
- Airborne/EmergenC (to keep the Con Crud at bay)
- Preferred pen for getting things signed (if you’re picky about that) and covers/boards and bags to protect your new Precious
- Knitting (to kill time while waiting on line or waiting for a panel to start)
I’ve got my marching orders and will be hitting up Target today to get the things I’m missing. After NYCC is over, I’ll let you know what got used, what didn’t get used, and any room I find for improvement.
Special thanks to Rosemary, Nancy, Frenchie, Regan, Grace, and Katy who took pity on the newbie so I could learn from their previous mistakes.